Archive for the ‘Gambling and the Law’ Category

Going to California?

by , Jan 14, 2014 | 6:50 am

PokerStars, the biggest most legitimate online poker site in the world, which got that way by thumbing its nose at the US government for their stupid laws, has gotten the big X in Nevada, and in New Jersey … so where to next? According to my personal Linked In recommended jobs feed, the less pokery-sounding Stars/Tilt parent Rational Group seem to be setting up shop in California, with a new open position(s?) to beef up their “social” gaming presence. Seems to make sense, with Cali kinda a holy grail as the only state, along with Texas, that could supply a profitably massive player pool. Or it could just be a play to recruit some Bay area tech talent …

Rational Job

Meanwhile, to catch up those of us who may have checked out for a semester, gaming law expert I. Nelson Rose explains rather succinctly the other day, in an appearance on Fox Business, where things currently stand with Obamapoker the slow rollout of American online gambling. And, he explains, why California online poker doesn’t really stand a chance this year (even though politicians are still happy to take your donations for giving it the good-ole college try) — go 2014!


Stuff’s goin’ on …


Lessons from the Insurance Industry

by , Jun 23, 2013 | 1:00 pm

I. Nelson Rose

I. Nelson Rose

Licensed gaming is slowly becoming just another legal business; which is a very good thing.

Many of the strangest restrictions in the law arose from centuries of gambling being seen by society, or at least by opinion-leaders and law-makers, as an activity that was simply not respectable.  Gambling debts were unenforceable, and courts would no more allow casinos to advertise than they would brothels.  A gaming license was similar to James Bond’s “license to kill”:  It merely protected the operator from being prosecuted for what was otherwise an illegal act.

In the past, other industries struggled with becoming respectable in the eyes of the law.  This usually took the route of trying to show they were not forms of gambling, even if they were.  They also knew they had to come up with arguments on why they were actually good for society.  The best examples are trading in securities and commodity futures, and insurance.

Insurance is, of course, gambling.

Insurance eventually overcame its gambling roots because it was seen as creating a benefit for the general public, as an efficient way of spreading and lessening risk. Hence, the introduction of insurance to the drivers who follow car seat laws in california.

Looking just at the required three elements, insurance has prize, chance and consideration.  After all, a policy holder is merely betting a small sum with the expectation of winning a larger sum if a certain contingent future event occurs.

Systems similar to modern insurance are at least 3,500 years old.  Shippers, merchants and financiers developed schemes to share the risk and spread unexpected losses caused by pirates and shipwrecks.

Insurance as a separate contract first developed in Genoa in the 14th century, and was again focused on marine shipping.  The long history of maritime insurance made it the least susceptible of being viewed as merely gambling in more modern times.

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